Autumn Sky

Not much of a post this week. My favorite season, fall, is almost here. Well, technically, it arrived a week or so ago, but in my neck of the woods the leaves haven’t started turning yet and the weather is just barely starting to cool down at night.

I’m always inspired by nature, so I thought I’d share a picture I captured the other day. Enjoy!

Where do you find your inspiration?

Follow your dreams!

Follow your dreams!

 

So What About Chapters in Novels?

For this post, rather than informing or commenting about a subject, I’d like to promote a discussion and ask for your feedback. I’ve heard about – and participated in – various conversations lately about the subject of chapter length – and number of chapters – in novels.

In my personal experience, I’ve read books that cover a wide range of formats for chapters. Some novels have dozens of short chapters, some have fewer chapters that are longer. Some start a new chapter for every scene, some have multiple scenes in a chapter. Some books have titles for each chapter, others simply number the chapters.

So what’s your take on this? Do you have a preferred method of formatting the chapters within your books? Do you have a preference in chapter number or length when you’re reading a book? Do you like chapters with titles, or do you not care? Do you think there are any “rules” that should determine the format of chapters within novels?

Please share your thoughts in the comments!

The Women Who Made Star Trek Possible

Since this month marks the 50th anniversary of the Star Trek franchise, I couldn’t let it pass without doing a tribute post of some sort. As much as I’ve blogged about Babylon 5 and Stargate as my favorite sci-fi shows, Star Trek was my first love. I grew up watching re-runs of the original series with my dad (no, I’m not quite old enough to have watched it when it first aired). Then when The Next Generation came along in the late 80s, I didn’t start watching it right away, but I soon jumped on board and quickly made sure I watched every single episode; and the same with Deep Space Nine and Voyager. (We won’t talk about the Enterprise series).

Star Trek has a long legacy, and has shaped modern science fiction storytelling (and has shaped real science, as well, but that’s a topic for another post). I could have done a post (or several) about the storytelling aspects of Star Trek – and I might still do that. But for this post, in keeping with the posts I did recently about women in sci-fi, I’m going to highlight the real-life women who made this show a reality.

Of course there are plenty of women both in front of the camera and behind the scenes in TNG, DS9, the movies, and beyond who I could highlight. But I’m going to go back in history a bit and celebrate the women who made Star Trek possible. Without them, this science fiction giant would not exist, at least not the way we know it today. Continue reading

5 Beautiful Words

As a writer, I of course love words. I love words for their individual meanings, the way they work with other words in a sentence or a paragraph. I love how a single word at the right time can elicit strong emotion or deep thought. And some words just sound beautiful, too.

I wrote a post a while back about a few of my favorite words (note – only one word on that list is in my native language of English). So on this list, I’m including two words from my favorites list, plus three others that I think are beautiful in both sound and meaning.

Ljósmóðir – literally translated from the Icelandic, this word means “light-mother,” but it’s used as the term for “midwife.” Not only does it sound beautiful to the ear, but the definition embodies the beauty of bringing new light and life into the world. Continue reading

So I Just Published a Book…

Not much in the way of wit or writing tips this week. Just an announcement that I published my first book! 

I know, there was no fanfare or promotion leading up to it. I actually wanted to keep it low-key, because I did it partly just to figure out how the self-publishing process works on Amazon. You can read a hundred blog posts about it, but until you actually do it, it’s still theory. The uploading and book prep process through Amazon is relatively painless – except for the bit about their Kindle conversion program not liking tab indents in Word. Gotta figure out how to fix that for my next book.

But anyway, here it is – my first official publication, a self-published short story collection. Pop on over to Amazon, if you’d like, and give it a read!

5 Little-Known Facts about Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter – the creator of the classic childhood characters of Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny, Tom Kitten, and others – has long been one of my favorite authors. I grew up reading her whimsical tales of rabbits, cats, hedgehogs, and other charming creatures. Now, in adulthood, I’ve researched the woman behind the stories I’ve loved so much, and learned that Beatrix was so much more than just a writer and painter (although that’s nothing to be ashamed of!)

Beatrix Potter and the real Benjamin Bunny

So in celebration of Beatrix Potter’s 150th birthday (she was born July 28th, 1866), I’m sharing a few little facts that you may not have known about the famous children’s author:

Beatrix didn’t get married till she was 47. Miss Potter was pushing 50 before she became Mrs. Heelis – her first and only marriage. So if you’re over 35 and still single, don’t despair – there’s still time! Continue reading